Home
The best shoes for riders who need some extra room

Finding shoes that are comfortable enough to ride in all day long can be a nightmare for people with wide feet, so we’ve decided to round up what’s available out there.

A couple of years ago, darrenleroy began a road.cc forum thread about wide shoes because he was struggling to find any that didn’t make his feet ‘fall asleep’ while riding. Judging by the responses he got, getting comfortable shoes is a common problem for people with wider feet, and it’s no joke.

One option is to go to a bike fit specialist like Cyclefit where a technician will measure the length, width and arch length of your foot, your standing and seated arch height, and suggest the best shoes for you. They’ll give you the option of having your own custom footbed created.

If you don’t think that’s right for you and you just want to find some wider options, here’s what’s available. There’s no substitute for trying shoes on before you buy them, of course, because what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily the best solution for someone else.

If you have wide feet and you’ve found something that works for you, please let us know in the comments section down below. 

Bont 

Bont shoes are interesting in that they’re built around a cycle-specific last that’s arguably closer to the shape of a foot than most others out there, hence their distinctive looks. We’ve always found Bonts to be fairly roomy in the toe box and we know of people who’ve needed a wide fit in some brands taking a standard fit Bont. 

Bont Vaypour Plus - toe.jpg

Bont Vaypour Plus - toe.jpg

With Bonts the sole extends upwards around the side of your foot, creating a little tub. It’s common for brands to mould the sole upwards at the heel section, but less common towards the front of the foot. The idea is that this “ensures neutral positioning of the forefoot and alleviates common issues associated with over pronation and supination [such as knee injuries and hip and lower back pain].”

There’s only so much space between the sides of the shoe for your feet to fit into, but Bont soles are heat mouldable so you can give yourself a bit of extra room in tight areas, within reason. 

Bont Vaypour Plus - sole toe.jpg

Bont Vaypour Plus - sole toe.jpg

Bont makes its shoes in stock, narrow and wide fits. There’s a simple way to find out the best size for you which involves tracing around your foot on a piece of paper and measuring the dimensions. You input your figures on Bont’s website and you’re given the right size. 

Bont’s UK distributor stocks the wider models in the most popular sizes (42-46), and up to size 49 in certain models.

If your feet are off the scale you can have Bont make you a pair of custom shoes.

Bont Vaypor S - side.jpg

Bont Vaypor S - side.jpg

Check out our recent review of the Bont Vaypor S here. 

www.bontcycling.com

Bontrager

Bontrager doesn’t bring wide fit shoes into the UK anymore.

www.trekbikes.com

Giro

Giro offers several of its shoes in a ‘high volume’ (or HV) fit for foot widths from D-EE, if that means anything to you (personally, the last time I had my foot width measured was for a pair of Clarks Commandos in 1978).

Giro Apeckx II.jpg

Giro Apeckx II.jpg

From the road range, you can get the Trans E70 HV (£159.99) and the Apeckx II HV (above, £119.99), and there are mountain bike options too (go to the Giro website and tap ‘HV’ into the search box to see all that’s available). 

Check out our review of standard fit Giro Trans shoes here. 

www.giro.com

Lake

We’ve generally found Lake shoes to be roomy in the toe box, the front end being rounded rather than pointy (technical terms!), and fairly high volume.

If that’s not enough for you, Lake offers its entire road range in wide options, although it’s easier to get hold of some models than others in the UK.

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - top and bottom.jpg

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - top and bottom.jpg

UK distributor Today's Cyclist stocks wide versions of the high-end CX 402 (£370) (we recently reviewed the standard model), the CX332 (£289) and the CX145 (£175) road shoes. It also stocks wide versions of these mountain bike shoes: MX161, MX145 (£175)and MXZ303.

Lake dealers can order wide models from Today's Cyclist at the start of the season for delivery with initial stock. The distributor can also get wide models from the Lake warehouse in Holland very quickly in season as and when required.

www.lakecycling.com

Northwave

Italy’s Northwave offers several of its road shoes in wide fits. Of these, the £259.99 Extreme (below) is the easiest to get hold of. This is a lightweight race shoe with a unidirectional carbon sole. 

Northwave Extreme Wide.jpg

Northwave Extreme Wide.jpg

Northwave also makes the Evolution Plus (£159.99) and the Sonic 2 Plus (£109.99) in wide fits. Northwave's UK distributor doesn't keep them in stock but you could order them via a Northwave dealer.

northwave.com

Shimano

Both of Shimano’s Road Competition level shoes, the S-Phyre RC9 (below, £319.99) and the RC7 (£169.99), shoes can accommodate wider feet pretty well, and if the standard fit isn’t broad enough you can go for a wide fit in both.

Shimano S-Phyre RC9 - 4.jpg

Shimano S-Phyre RC9 - 4.jpg

The RP3 (£89.99) is available in a wide fit option too.

A wide fit gives you 5-6% greater circumference than a regular fit in the mid-foot and forefoot.

www.shimano-lifestylegear.com

Sidi

You might have heard that Sidi shoes are small for any given size and that you should size up. We’ve not found that to be true in terms of length, but we have found the standard Sidi last to be narrow. Sidi-Ergo-4-Carbon-Composite-Mega-Road-Shoe-2015-white.jpg

Standard Sidi shoes are based on a D width foot. Sidi offers what it calls a ‘Mega’ fit too, which is an EE to EEE width. It’s 4mm wider across the ball of the foot than a standard Sidi fit, the instep is higher and the heel cup is wider. The Ergo 4 (above, £275) and Genius 7 (£170) road shoes are both offered in Mega versions. 

Check out our guide to the Sidi 2017 shoe range here. 

www.sidi.com

Specialized

Specialized only carries its standard width shoes in the UK. It’s worth noting, though, that the toe box volume is pretty generous, reducing only for the S-Works 6 and Sub 6 road and mountain shoes.

Your experience

If you have wide feet, could you help out by offering advice on which shoes have worked (and not worked) for you? Let us know in the comments section.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

31 comments

Avatar
KoenM [91 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Specialized also has a wide-version of it's S-WORKS 6 road shoe,  Mavic has it's Maxi Fit  version of some of their shoes, especially made for wider feet! 
I also buy my bike stuff from Bike24 regularly and they have a wide feet filter so that's very useful for me as I used to have to buy a shoe size up to get in a shoe! 

Avatar
Gene00 [3 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I have a high ar h and wide hobbit feet, I use the Shimano r321 wide fit and Giro Empire slx.
The Giro are dine if you slaxcen off the lower laces close to the toe box. I also use the lace heel lock technique
(https://www.locklaces.com/blogs/resources/how-to-tie-a-heel-lock ) helps keep the heel in pkace when climbing/ sprinting.

Avatar
VeloPeo [353 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

A few years ago I did a couple of 24hr rides. 

At the start of the year, having bought and loved Northwave Celsius winter boots, I bought a pair of Northwave road shoes (I forget the model), fine whilst the weather was cooler but unfortunately London to Paris was the first really hot weekend of the year - the expended feet resulted in me losing a big toe-nail during the course of the ride as they weren't wide enough. 

I replaced them with a pair of Fizik R1s (half price, result!) and they've been the comfiest shoe I've ever owned. Previous to that year I was wearing a pair of Specialized which were also very comfortable for me. 

part_robot obviously has had different experiences - but shoes are just so subjective. Even trying them on in the shop doesn't really help as feet expand in hot weather and you just can't replicate that. 

Avatar
peted76 [795 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Good article and thanks to part_robot for the real world feedback. I'm a wide fit who's squeezed himself into bont riot's for a while now I heated them up to push the tub out a bit at the edges, it's okay in the summer, in winter however a thicker sock can block the circulation from the midsole a bit too much.

Avatar
part_robot [271 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

To add to VeloPeo's remarks, make sure you try shoes with whatever socks and supportive footbed you normally use. I know that's obvious to say, but you'd be surprised what an effect an extra 2mm less depth in the toe box has on effective width; I had to belt sand the front of mine down to give me any hope of fitting into my old Vaypor+.

Avatar
part_robot [271 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Props to road.cc for writing this article; it's so hard for fellow Hobbit-feeted folks to find wide shoes so it's very much welcome!

I have especially wide feet (something like EE or EEE in US measures) and have stuggled to find shoes that fit for years. So far I've tried about 20 models across the major brands. Here's a summary of what I can remember, true as of mid 2016:

  • Shimano: their wides aren't all that wide. I had to go up 2 whole sizes in one model and that caused a whole host of issues with fit.
  • Northware: I tried the Northwave Extreme in wide. Fits ok ish but tapers too quickly (and asymmetically) at the front. Might suit some people.
  • Sidi: all their Mega versions are very wide indeed with a large toebox volume. Furthermore, the half sizes keep the footbed of the size below and use the last of the size above meaning that a half size is extremely volumous. However, I find their footbeds aren't as wide as the lasts meaning my toes can fall over the sides which is very annoying.
  • Fizik: nope (can't remember which model).
  • Bont Vaypor, Vaypor+. Wide in theory, but the curved base reduces the effective width and actually causes my toes to bunch on top of each other. The toebox is also too shallow. The Vaypor S I gather improves on this but they are hideously expensive.
  • Bontrager: nope (also can't remember which model).
  • Giro: pretty narrow in general.
  • Lake: a thousand times yes. Lake do wide versions of most of their range and the "Competition Last" (for example on the CX237) is the widest. Be careful of the other lasts (e.g. the  CX402) as they are noticeably narrower. The real shame is that they don't do vegan versions  2

I wouldn't normally say this, but if you buy Lakes consider buying direct from them online; their customer support is excellent and they'll really look after you if anything goes wrong (more so than even your LBS). Highly recommended.

 

EDIT: a few typos and clarifications. Note that this edit has put the comments out of order. This was previously the second comment.

Avatar
VeloVert [6 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

+1 for Lake - excellent customer service, still wish I could find SpeedPlay soles in wide though.  Lake did offer to make a pair in the CX402 but as part_robot pointed out, the 402 is definitely narrower, although I found it to be so in the mid-sole rather than the toebox. I'm currently using a pair of CX236C's in wide and they're perfect, when coupled with a Specialized high-arch footbed.

Sidi Mega's are a joke - no wider than most manufacturers standard fit, which is a shame 'cos I've wanted a pair of Sidi's since I was 12.

Avatar
bobinski [280 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I have for years struggled to get wide fitting shoes to accomodate my bunions and last year resolrted to specialised shows that were a sis and a half too long just to get the width. I had tried Bonts without succeess. I have just got the Shimano Rc7's in my usual length but the wide fitting and they are a revelation-I know, thats pretty strong. But my feet are now cosseted, comfy, no hot spots on first 65 mile ride nor a bit of turbo use. Just as importantly having the right shoe length means my cleats are now properly positioned for comfort and my puny power. I highly recommend the Rc7's not least because they are easy to get hold of via Evans etc.

Avatar
SaltDogCycling [5 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

The Lake CX237 in Wide Fit Black are available in the UK here with Free Delivery.

https://goo.gl/3ts4GU

From experience we've always had issues with Bont sizing and in the end stopped selling them.  Northwave don't do wide fit specific but do come in Wider than other brands. Found that Lake sizing is pretty solid with what you would wear in your every day shoes trainers etc

Avatar
reliablemeatloaf [106 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I just bought a pair of Shimano SH-RP3L Road Shoes from Bike24 in Germany. They seem to carry a larger selection of sizes in Germany than in the US.

The shoes seem to be doing the trick, but as part_robot pointed out, you must go up one size to benefit from wideness.

I normally take a 47 shoe, but had to go to a 48E to get more room.

The SH-RP3L is moderately priced, I paid 80 USD including shipping for mine.

Avatar
Mat Brett [660 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

SaltDogCycling wrote:

From experience we've always had issues with Bont sizing and in the end stopped selling them. 

What was that issue please, SaltDogCycling? Everyone had to go up a size or two? Or to do with width and other factors?

Also, how long ago was this? The reason I ask is that the last couple of Bonts we've tried here have been true to size, whereas they used to be miles off!

SaltDogCycling wrote:

Northwave don't do wide fit specific but do come in Wider than other brands. 

i-ride brings in this one as standard. https://www.i-ride.co.uk/2017-Extreme-Wide.aspx

There are a couple more but they'd need to be ordered in.

Avatar
risoto [40 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

The great Italian brand Gaerne does wide versions (Greipel rides that brand). Plus they are very comfortable and look nice.

Avatar
Mat Brett [660 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

KoenM wrote:

Specialized also has a wide-version of it's S-WORKS 6 road shoe,  Mavic has it's Maxi Fit  version of some of their shoes, especially made for wider feet! 

Yes, I contacted Mavic to ask how its Maxi shoes (there are two models, I think) compare exactly to its standard fit. I'll update the article if/when they get back to me.

Avatar
Mat Brett [660 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

risoto wrote:

The great Italian brand Gaerne does wide versions (Greipel rides that brand). Plus they are very comfortable and look nice.

Ah yes, there's this on the road side of things: http://www.gaerne.com/cycling/en/articolo/10/71/101/g-record-wide/wide/

I'll ask the UK distributor www.hotlines-uk.com if it brings in this model and update accordingly. 

Avatar
kevw [1 post] 6 months ago
0 likes

I have found that the DMT R2's fit my feet well, there is also the option of getting some custom made Luck shoes, they look like they could be useful if you have odd sized feet, or any biomechanical corrections that are needed http://luck-bike.es/en/my-measurements

 

Avatar
SaltDogCycling [5 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Issue  with Bont was customers going up a size or 2 or 3 and then not fitting properly it will be about 2-3 years ago we had issues with sizing.. So great news if things have changed since.

Iride bringing in the Northwave wide fit road shoe is good news as well this must be a very recent thing as i'd not picked up on it. 

Different brands fit different people as we all have different shape feet so worth trying a few out to find what works.

I am at bit biased to Lake as I do think they make great cycling shoes  1

Avatar
picko [71 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Luck do custom fitted shoes based on your own foot measurements, including arch height and they have a fair few different models of shoe.  Slightly disappointed with the quality of the finish but mine fit well and are still in a good state after 2 years.  One tip though; wear your thick cycling socks when you take your measurements - there isn't much extra space in them.

Avatar
ChainedToTheWheel [20 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I have a horrid time with cycle shoes, to the extent that I am still cycling in sandshoes and flat pedals. I have tried every - every - shoe available to me in the local area, and beyond, and none of them have fitted. Generally too narrow in the toe, or if wide enough there then too long or they pinch my little toe, or something. This includes some of the so-called "wide" Shimano and Bont offerings. The only one that has come close has been a laughably expensive S-Works.

Based on my experience I'm not willing to order online and subject both myself and the store to an endless succession of returns, so in the meantime I'll stick it out with my sandshoes.

Avatar
Moisha [1 post] 6 months ago
0 likes

Another vote for Lake. I have tried many and these are great. CX237 and I found them on the Planet X website for £80. What a bargain!

Avatar
Ran Over My Tongue [2 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I have a wide foot (~108mm), narrow heels, no arches, and high insteps. Ski boots and cycling shoes are nightmares for me. Gaerne double-Boa shoes and custom foot beds work, though. I bought a pair of the road Chrono shoes and matching mountain bike shoes, and both fit well. Being able to adjust the Boas separately is the key.  I don't get any numbness on long rides and if the shoes feel tight, adjusting on the fly is easy. 

The mtb shoes have a decent tread that gives good traction (although I'd really prefer a Vibram-style rubber for wet log crossings) and the uppers have been more durable than I expected, even against Moab's geology. For inevitable hike-a-bikes they're not bad and don't give me blisters on my heels. As  far as I can tell, the shoes are identical except for drilling and the added mtb tread.

 

Avatar
J90 [421 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Don't forget to try on shoes as late in the day as possible as your feet swell during the day.

Avatar
fastfish1x1 [5 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Suplest are the best Ive found for my wide feet, then Lake -- but from now on Im sticking with Suplest - I have about 5 pairs!

Avatar
melliott [21 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I've struggled to find shoes that fit. I have a pretty normal forefoot size, but really wide midfoot, especially on the outside of my feet, and narrow heels.

I have tried:

  • Shimano wide (narrow midfoot),
  • old Specialised Pro Comps (not bad, but unavailable),
  • Sidis (really wanted these to work but they didn't),
  • Bonts (A2s and a couple of others - they were good and had room to stretch more),
  • Mavics (just no),
  • cheap Northwave regular widths (nope).

Couldn't find Lakes anywhere. Ended up buying Pearl Izumi standard width shoes. Really comfortable, just enough width in midfoot and supportive heel cup.

I'd tried so many that as soon as I found the Pearl Izumi shoes, I bought three pairs. Luckily they were in the sale too. When they run out, I'll try PI again or buy Bonts. Just pleased I got three pairs for the price of a decent pair of Bonts.

Avatar
Richie Bikelane [11 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

New kids on the block (for Australia anyway) are FLR shoes. They are wide fitting anyway, without having to chose a wide fit option. I don't need flippers to go skins diving and the standard size 45 FLR F XXII is the widest most comfortable shoe I have found. No aching arches or sleeping toes. It's also reasonably priced. 

Avatar
IanEdward [126 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Very timely thread!

I'm just starting to use road pedals again and am finding my old Giros still give me a lot of pain in the outside of the ball of my foot.

Am hoping some extra shims might sort it, but is this the sort of pain that might be resolved with a wider shoe?

Am torn because I didn't get the same pain with some old Specialized Elites, but I really don't like the look of the Specialized shoes this year (black, or black, with those goofy looking Boa things on them...)

Avatar
balbardie [15 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I have very short wide feet and have found a pair of Shimano RP3 Wide Fit (size 42) to be a great success, comfortable on long rides. Used with Time Expresso pedals.

Avatar
IanEdward [126 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

For those buying Lake direct online, what is the customs situation?

Do you get stung by the Royal Mail for £8.50 handling charge and then 20% VAT on $120? (and in my experience, they don't convert dollars to ££ before slapping on the percentage, so it would be 20% of $120...)

Am looking at the CX161 in wide fit as Giro don't offer the HV Apeckx in white, perhaps I should just get black shoes and be done with it...

Avatar
Mat Brett [660 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

risoto wrote:

The great Italian brand Gaerne does wide versions (Greipel rides that brand). Plus they are very comfortable and look nice.

I contacted the UK importer www.hotlines-uk.com. They used to bring wide fit Gaerne shoes into the UK but they didn't sell particularly well so they stopped. There's nothing to stop you sourcing them from abroad, of course.

 

Avatar
IanEdward [126 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Just a wee heads up, dropped into Evans Edinburgh as they had some Specialized Elite shoes from last year in my size, reduced.

Got some good advice from the manager (Dagmara) who pointed out that the fact I used to wear 44s for MTB might not equate to 44s being a good fit on the road, as your feet are more static and yyour position more fixed etc.

I tried some 45s in a Specialized and they certainly felt better, although obviously I didn't get a chance to pedal in them.

However the point of the story is that Evans also stock Louis Garneau shoes which seem to size up a mite wider than Specialized, a 45 in an LG shoe certainly felt a tiny bit wider around the ball of the foot than a 45 Specialized.

Happily LG shoes seem to come in quite a wide range of prices, styles and colours also, although I eventually plumped for black-on-black as I've been caught out once too often by downpours just before my commute home, turning my pimpy white shoes rapidly brown...

Avatar
StevenNemeth [1 post] 2 months ago
1 like

Hi All,

First up, little disclaimer, yes I work for Bont Cycling.

Thanks for comments part_robot, but most of our clients and technical reviewer's would most likely disagree with your information on Bont Cycling shoes width.

The curve in our bases doe not take away from the width of our shoes and the phycical flat section (which also has shaping to assist people with transverse arch support) is already some of the widest available from any company. The curved edges do however mimic the natural shape of a foot's edge. This is one small part of what we refer to as anatomical shaping, that is true to the shape of a human foot.

In-terms of your comment about "our shoes making your toes bunch on top of each other", if you re wearing the correct size and a genuine Bont Cycling shoe, this is highly unlikely unless your toes are all basically the same length from large toe to small. I am happy to share some nice X-rays which a well respected orthopedic surgeon supplied to BC on how a typical foot sits inside a BC shoe. The Dr in question had taken these to show clients the benefits of wearing proper anatomically shaped sports shoes as he specialises in dealing with athletes.

Should you wish to discuss it further, please do not hesitate to contact me. Just send an email to info [at] bontcycling.com and ask for your email to be forwarded to Steven. I am happy to assist you personally in getting you fitted with the correct size shoe.

Cheers.

Pages